Sharks boss downplays off-field shenanigans ahead of playoff

Sharks boss downplays off-field shenanigans ahead of playoff

Gary Teichmann (Chief executive officer) of the Cell C Sharks with Robert du Preez (Head Coach) of the Cell C Sharks during the Super Rugby match between Cell C Sharks and Chiefs at Jonsson Kings Park on May 19, 2018 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Gary Teichmann insists that coach Robert du Preez is fully supported despite him calling the media ‘cockroaches’.

Gary Teichmann, former Springbok captain and Sharks chief executive, insists there’s only a focus on rugby ahead of the team’s Super Rugby quarterfinal against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

The Durbanites have been dogged by allegations of disunity in their ranks, with senior players and coaching staff revolting against head coach Robert du Preez.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Sharks coach calls media ‘cockroaches’

Further fuel was put on the fire at the weekend after Du Preez lashed out at the Durban media specifically for reporting on his future, calling them “cockroaches” in the aftermath of the 12-9 win over the Stormers at Newlands.

But Teichmann insists such shenanigans won’t derail the team’s preparations for the coming weekend.

“Robert is our head coach and he has our full support,” he told Netwerk24.

“I believe that now isn’t an appropriate time to be commenting on these allegations anyway. We just want to focus on rugby.”

Du Preez, whose contract runs till the end of the 2020 season, will also need to scout three new assistants with Braam van Straaten, Ricardo Loubscher and Alan Zondagh all apparently have lined up new gigs after falling out with him.

Nonetheless, Teichmann said that the Sharks are so confident of their chances in the playoffs that they’ve planned being overseas for the next three weeks.

“I realise we were a bit lucky against the Stormers, but what pulled us through is the fact that the players never gave up. That gives us hope for the knockout games,” he said.

“The guys believe in themselves and it’s probably a good thing that we’re playing overseas again. We have a good record away from home.”

The Sharks did indeed have a promising stint overseas in this campaign, beating the Waratahs for the first time in Sydney since 2000 and drawing 21-all with the all-conquering Crusaders.

The Sharks have already travelled to Australia.

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